Black people

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This and That, Not These and Those

Published September 27, 2022 by Nan Mykel

Just had to fool around a little…Had to mention this and that:

A group of top state judges has made a rare plea to the Supreme Court, urging it to reject a legal theory pressed by Republicans that would give state legislatures extraordinary power, Adam Liptak writes in nytimes.

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I find myself eagerly awaiting the unauthorized biography of Anthony Bourdain, although I usually hate books with sad endings.  (I usually read the last page first in order to avoid sad endings, but I liked what I knew of him and was already saddened by his demise.)

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I hope none of DeSantis’ spending of $1.3 billion towards vouchers diverted from Public Schools taps into the money already spent on the forced immigrant plane trips north!

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The library poetry writing group I have been in since its inception much more than ten years ago has resumed going out to lunch together.  We happen to be liberals (I still don’t think MAGA folks can hear their muse),  and after sharing some experiences in life earlier, our black waitress who had overheard our conversation joined us in the  conversation.  (I still don’t know the proper way to say that.  Black individual? Woman? Person of color?)  Anyway, it was a great experience.  I won’t say what restaurant so she won’t get in trouble for taking the time “away from her duties”).   We’re all non-racists, of course, and all of us lunching together are over seventy.

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A reminder:  It’s my opinion that the main problem America is facing is a direct result of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission (FEC) decision in 2010 that political spending is a form of free speech that’s protected under the First Amendment. The controversial 5-4 decision effectively opened the door for corporations and unions to spend unlimited amounts of money to support their chosen political candidates, provided they were technically independent of the campaigns themselves.   The corporations, being more monetarily influential than unions, of course, had the advantage over unions and the majority of our population.  Thus, corporations gained the rights of individual citizens, but with more power to influence elections  A poem at that time by fellow writing member Patricia Black is re-printed courtesy of Patricia L.H. Black, plhb222@hotmail.com :

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WHAT’S WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE

I met some corporations and

because I had a hunch they had

all been adjudged “persons,”

I invited one to lunch.

Oh, that naughty corporation!

As far as I could see,

it had not been taught its manners—

I got no R, S, V nor P.

But since I was the hostess

I had duties to perform,

though this corporation person

was so outside the norm

that making up the place cards

put my thinking to the test—

could I just write General

and forget about the rest?

And since Incorporated is so very long,

tell me what you think—

would it be uncouth of me

if all I wrote was Inc.?

Then, again, there’s gender

to complicate my tale.

Is corporation female

or is corporation male?

Somehow it seems that neither

is appropriate or will fit.

But it goes against my training

to call a person “It.”

Well, I had invited it

so I assigned it to a seat.

Now I had a problem—

What do corporations eat?

Was it carnivorous or vegan?

Lactose intolerant?

Some persons can eat seafood

while other persons can’t.

There were peanuts to consider

and corn syrup issues, too.

If I fed this so-called person eggs

would it suddenly turn blue?

What a jolt at lunch time

when the corporation knocked!

When the door was opened

I was shocked, I tell you, shocked!

I’m used to thinking “person”

as my neighbor or my dad

but I was sorely disabused

of all such thoughts I might have had.

There were janitors, clerks and typists,

lawyers up to you know where,

receptionists and file clerks

and scientists to spare;

there were bricks-and-mortar buildings

from here to Timbuktu;

fleets of trucks and warehouses,

the list just grew and grew!

Shareholders by the gazillions,

ships, public and private planes,

mortgage-holding entities

and miles and miles of trains.

There were CEO’s and CFO’s

and all sorts of other O’s.

How this “person” would fit

my dining room

the Supreme Court only knows.

Although jolly, the impetous behind the poem is a tragic matter, in my opinion.

 

 

If I was a black person in America I would…

Published September 19, 2022 by Nan Mykel

…be what?  Can you even imagine it, if you’re not black?  Would you be angry?  Afraid?  Depressed?  It’s difficult to even guess.  Possibly all three.  I’m pretty good at empathy, but I can’t even imagine how discouraging it must be.  Although Google does not have the information I came across somewhere recently, I read that “Black Matters” is a different viewpoint than “Black Lives Matter,” and then I actually saw a “Black Matters” sign in a neighbor’s yard…..But Google doesn’t have any information on the shorter version, just as it had only a limited list of paramilitary groups in the United States when I last looked.  (But lots on domestic violence).

I ran into a new Word Press blog tonight that denied we are a racist country.  Since I had just finished an article in the December 2020 Harpers magazine quoting Lyndon Johnson, I wrinkled my brow:

“If you can convince the lowest white man he’s better than the best colored man, he won’t notice you’re picking his pocket.  Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he’ll empty his pockets for you.” Though disenfranchisement of African Americans was officially outlawed in 1965, the Supreme Court soon endorsed felony disenfranchisement, which by the time of the 2016 election barred more than six million mostly non-white Americans from voting.  If there was ever a heyday of American democracy it was recent and short-lived.  (Page 51-56)

The title of the Harper’s essay is “The Silenced Majority–Can America still afford democracy?”  by Rana Dasgupta, p 47-56).

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